9 Then Moses and the Levitical priests said to all Israel, “Be silent, Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the Lord your God. 10 Obey the Lord your God and follow His commands and decrees that I give you today.”
What happened earlier that we would read Then Moses and the Levitical priests said to all Israel, “Be silent, Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the Lord your God. Obey the Lord your God and follow His commands and decrees that I give you today.”?
1 Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: “Keep all these commands that I give you today. 2 When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the Lord your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster. 3 Write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 And when you have crossed the Jordan, set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as I command you today, and coat them with plaster. 5 Build there an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. Do not use any iron tool on them. 6 Build the altar of the Lord your God with fieldstones and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. 7 Sacrifice fellowship offerings there, eating them and rejoicing in the presence of the Lord your God. 8 And you shall write very clearly all the words of this law on these stones you have set up.”
So after receiving the above instructions Then they were to be silent and once again they were to hear the commands and decrees of the Lord their God.
Then something new, the tribes were divided into two parts, one group on Mount Gerizim to announce blessings to all the people of Israel. The other group on Mount Ebal is to pronounce curses (!), but it is the Levites who were to recited all the curses listed to all the people of Israel in a loud voice (vv14). There are no surprises for us in the list of 12 actions and a few non-actions that would cause a person to be cursed, but after announcing each one there is something new. Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” The people of Israel were by saying Amen were stating their agreement that such actions should be cursed. The entire list consists of acts of disobedience. The next chapter lists the blessings for obedience and what the curses agreed to in this chapter will be.
Frankly this seemed like a great deal of repetition to me and then I wondered if it truly was. I recalled all the repetition in school (especially elementary) and in basic training in the military. Here God is teaching His people how to be His people. It was something new, a new way of living, living as the Lord their God wanted them to do. So many things to learn, so many to unlearn. It is not repetitious in a negative sense, but repetitious as we as parents are with our children wanting them to know right from wrong and at the same time not to do anything that would cause them any injury or great hurt.
Thus we can come to understand He is not only Almighty God, but also our Father in heaven.